Beet Green Tart Recipe

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Beet Green Tart Recipe - Provided by eHow
Beet greens make a great base for a savory tart, complemented with shallots and grated Parmesan cheese. Harvest young beet greens from yard with helpful hints from an organic gardener in this free video on garden-to-table cooking. View Video Transcript

About this Author

Willi Galloway

Willi Evans Galloway loves to read, write, talk about, and teach people how to garden organically and grow their own food. For the past five years, she has worked as the West Coast Editor of Organic Gardening magazine. Willi also recently created, a site that serves up gardening and cooking inspiration. Willi lives in Seattle with her husband, four pet chickens, a lawn-destroying Labrador, and way too many tomato plants.

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Jon, and I'm Willi, and we grow a lot of our own foods here in our little urban homestead here in Seattle. We've got chickens, we've got bees and we've got a big garden and today on "Grow. Cook. Eat.", we're going to be talking about beets. Most people grow beets for the roots, but at our house we actually really prefer the greens so you can harvest them young and use them in salads, and then you can also when they're big and mature cook them and our favorite way is to put them on a tart. Yeah, which is pretty much like a donut for dinner. It's not sweet, but it's definitely buttery and rich. Today, I'm going to show you how to grow them out in the yard, and then we're going to come back inside and make the tarts. I'll be here getting hungry. Okay. So, I always grow beets in the garden because they're such beautiful plants. I especially like this variety I have right here in front of me, called Bull's Blood, because it has these gorgeous burgundy colored leaves and it also has red roots. Most beet varieties have green leaves and they're equally pretty. They all grow to about 18 inches tall so they make a really nice border as I have here in front of my peppers but you can also plant them in front of taller plants like tomatoes as well. So, beets are a plant that grow best in slightly cooler weather. So, it's a good idea to plant them in early Spring, starting about a week or two before your last frost and you can sew them through the end of Spring, early Summer, take a little break and then in late Summer you can begin sewing again for a Fall crop. When you're sewing beet seed, it's important to know that beet seed is actually a fruit. So, when the seed germinates, you'll often get more than one seedling and this is important because if you don't thin out those seedlings, you'll just get this gnarled mass of roots. So, it's a really good idea to thin, and what that means is you're going to selectively remove some plants, and you can do that two ways. You can either remove plants with scissors. You just clip the plants you don't want off at the soil line or you can actually dig up the clump of seedlings, tease them apart gently and then replant them at the spacing that you want. So, either way works fine. The other awesome thing about beets is that both the greens and the roots are edible. So, you can eat the greens when they're small, when they're only an inch or two tall. You can eat those raw in salads or you can eat the mature beet greens by cooking them. And so that's what we're going to do today. I'm going to cook them and then put them in a tart. So, I'm just going to harvest some beets now so that I can go inside and get started on the tart. To start this recipe, we want to roll out the tart shell, and I've defrosted the puff pastry according to the manufacturer directions which was for 45 minutes. So, you still want it to be cool, but you want to be able to unfold it and stick it on a piece of parchment paper that's been floured. So, you just want it to be pretty thin and nice and even. Once it's nice and thin, then you can go ahead and transfer it to a low rimmed baking sheet or a cookie sheet and then I'm just going to make the crust. I'm going to score a line an inch, three quarters to an inch in from the edge. So, you don't want to cut all the way through, you just want to score it. So, you're going about halfway through, and what's going to happen in the oven as this cooks, the edge is going to puff up, and I'm going to poke the middle with an fork and it won't puff up as much. So, then you just want to go ahead in the middle and put in some steam vents so this will help keep it flat in the middle and the border nice and puffed up. So, I'm going to slide this into a 400 degree oven and let it cook for 10 minutes. And while it cooks, I'm going to go ahead and cook the shallots and the beet greens so they're ready to go when this comes out of the oven. Okay, so I've got about a tablespoon of olive oil heating in the pan here over medium high heat, and I'm going to add in the shallots, two shallots that were thinly sliced. So, we've got the shallots cooking. I just want to cook them until they're translucent and soft and I cut these thinly because I'm going to just spread them over the tart, and you don't want to bite into a huge chunk of shallot. So, I wanted them to be pretty thin. Alright, so the shallots have been cooking for a couple minutes here and they're pretty soft, so I'm going to go head and scoop them out of the pan and now I'm going to do the beet greens. So, I'm going to put in a little bit more oil, about another tablespoon and then the greens, and this is four cups of packed beet greens, and I washed them and then sliced them pretty thinly. I'm using a pretty big skillet. If you have a smaller skillet, you can just cook them in batches. So, don't put all the oil in. they really cook down quickly. So, you want to cook the greens until they're wilted down but they still have some body to them. You don't want them to be completely limp and then you just want to scrape them back into the bowl and it's time to prepare the tart. I'm just going to pull the tart shell out of the oven and the reason why you bake it for a little bit before assembling the tart is that you don't want it to be soggy after you put on the toppings. Now that I have the tart, I'm going to take half of the Parmesan cheese. So, I've got a half cup of finely grated Parmesan and I'm just going to sprinkle about a quarter cup of it over the bottom and this forms a layer on the bottom and prevents things from getting too soggy on the crust, and then I'm going to spread about half of the shallots out, again just trying to distribute them and then spread half the garlic over the top of the shell, and then half of the cheese and I have Fromage Blanc here, which is just a soft cheese. You could also use Feta, we could use goat cheese, whatever you like really and then I'm also going to put some of the olives. So basically, you're just putting half the ingredients on, scattering along the bottom and then we're going to put the beet greens and scatter them along the top so they're nice and pretty, so we've got great color. And then, we're just going to spread the rest of the toppings on again, trying to kind of spread them out as evenly as possible over the top of the tart. And really, it's kind of, it's not an exact science, so just stop putting ingredients on at the point when you think the tart looks kind of full. And then the last thing you want to do is spread the last bit of the Parmesan over the top and then brush the edges of the crust with an egg wash and so that's just one egg that's been lightly beaten and we're just going to brush this egg on the edge of the crust, and that will give it this really gorgeous kind of mahogany brown color as it bakes in the oven. And we're just going to toss it back in the oven, and it's going to bake for about 15, 20 more minutes until it gets nice and golden brown. And again, the oven is still just at 400 degrees. We're just going to stick it back into the oven. So, the tart has been in the oven for about 10 minutes since we put the toppings on and I think it's ready. It's got this gorgeous golden brown color to the edges. So, I'm just going to take this over to the table and we're going to eat dinner. Oh my gosh. I know I'm hungry. It looks beautiful. Thank you. Where do I even start? Want a corner piece? I think they're the tastiest. Alright. I love this tart because you know most people when they grow beets just use the roots but this is such a delicious tart and it's so pretty and it uses up tons of beet greens which are really good for you. So, delicious, Will. Any time you want to make that sign me up. I know, I agree. It's one of my favorite things for dinner too. The pastry, the greens that aren't green still freaks me out a little bit but it's so tasty. Yeah, they're really good. I think the greens might be one of my favorite things out there. I like them a little better than the swiss chard. Yea and we still have the whole rest of the beet to eat right? Yea I think I might roast them and make a salad for later in the week. Well, we hope that you enjoyed this episode of "Grow. Cook. Eat." and if you have any comments for us please let us know. We'd love to hear from you. You can forward our videos around on Facebook and anywhere else you want. Yeah, and join us again soon. Thanks so much.